Jack Cassidy, 2-year-old son of Saint Mary’s University head women’s soccer coach Neil Cassidy, loves superheroes.
After he became sick and began to undergo chemotherapy, Jack would sometimes turn to his superhero alter egos, donning a cape or his Spider-Man jacket to aid him in his battle against cancer.
On Sunday, April 10, superheroes of every stripe and variety will throng the SMU campus to show their support for Jack, courtesy of the “Jogging for Jack Superhero 5K.” The run/walk will be held at 2 p.m. on the Saint Mary’s campus.
Jack was discovered to have a tumor on his jaw and was diagnosed with “Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), a rare form of cancer that affects 1 in 250,000 kids. Jack is currently being treated with chemotherapy, steroids and steroid injunctions. And he will be undergoing PET and CT scan this week to see how Jack is progressing.
“He’s a little trooper,” said his dad, Neil, who works as a director of coaching for the Rochester Youth Soccer Association and whose family lives in Rochester.
Earlier this year, Cassidy was approached by Saint Mary’s athletic director Nikki Fennern and student Jase Pater, a representative of SMU Student Athletic Advisory Committee, who proposed holding an event to support Jack and his family.
“You know, it’s a special community,” Cassidy said. “They really look out for one another, and I kind of felt that they were looking out for me and my family. I was overwhelmed.”
Jack earned his “Super Jack” moniker because he is fan of superheroes. But it also captures the strength Jack has shown in battling his illness, his dad said.
“He’s got a Superman T-shirt he will wear. It’s not every single time. He’s good a good vibes T-shirt he likes to wear as well,” Cassidy said.
Participants are encouraged to incorporate the superhero theme into their costumes. The cost to participate is $15, with all the proceeds going to the Cassidy family to assist with Jack’s medical expenses.
You can register online at www.smumn.edu/joggingforjack or mail registration forms to Saint Mary’s athletic department c/o Toni Winter, 700 Terrace Heights #62, Winona, MN 55987.
If you go
What: Jogging for Jack Superhero 5K, benefit for two-year-old Jack Cassidy.
When: 2 p.m. April 10
Where: Saint Mary’s University campus.
You can register online or mail registration forms to Saint Mary’s athletic department c/o Toni Winter, 700 Terrace Heights #62, Winona, MN 55987.